Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed April 2017
    Anna Cheer

    Trails of New Zealand

    A perfectly balanced blend of touristy sightseeing activities, incredibly beautiful, varied walks and exciting, unforgettable experiences. We were blessed with fantastic weather, too!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing under the 80m high Fairy Falls on the bow of the Milford Wanderer, water pummelling down on our heads, totally surprised, completely exhilarated and utterly happy. I have to add first seeing Red Crater on the Tongariro Crossing, jetboating, catamaran sailing on the Tasman Sea, walking through Tiritiri Matangi Island’s gorgeous native woodland ringing with exotic bird calls and cicadas, the joy of seeing the glorious colour of Huka Falls. The trouble is that every day had moments like these, so how do you choose!?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hayley and Josh are an extraordinary young couple, calm, cheerful, incredibly hard working and competent. If everyone drove like Josh, the roads would be safer places. Every suggestion regarding where to eat or shop or what to do in our free time turned out to be good. In his review, Martin mentioned the lady stranger who had a fall, but not that Hayley actually carried her most of the way down a steep mountain after giving first aid! There were, inevitably, some long drives, but Hayley and Josh arranged an enjoyable short walk or other activity at least every two hours. I think I’d trust these two in almost any situation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t scratch your Blackfly bites! They really are the scourge of South Island, but DEET does deter them so use it. I kept leaving it too late. Bites I managed to resist scratching settled down quickly, those I took the tops off had scabs for weeks and have left scars. Be prepared for the jet lag - it took us a week to get over it after coming home. Take lots of notes as well as taking photos -see below!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It has been five weeks since the end of our holiday. It has taken this long to go through all my photos and notes, remembering more and more things that we did, to do research on the internet and to write a journal. Only now do I feel able to take an overall view and write this review. This holiday is a full-on three weeks of new experiences and it is almost impossible to take it all in at the time. For us and, I imagine most people, this was a holiday of a lifetime and I really do recommend making a photographic journal to fix those memories. It is a lot of work, but rather like having the holiday again!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Martin Bigg

    Trails of New Zealand

    We had promised ourselves this trip for some time and had high expectations. We were looking for a good mix of activities to see and experience the country. Trails of New Zealand went way beyond our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the amazing places, the range of walks in different landscapes, the fun of jet-boating, sailing and cruising, and luging, and the unique birds and wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had so many experiences which will stay with us: walking the stark volcanic landscape of the Tongariro Crossing; walking to and flying over Mount Cook and landing on pristine Fox glassier; sailing a catamaran; or travelling at 80mph up a braided river; the magnificent kauri and redwoods, and not forgetting the kiwis. On our way to Milford Sound on the South Island it poured with rain and we were not expecting to see much. However, soon after we boarded the boat the skies cleared and the fiord was filled with magnificent waterfalls. It was magical as we explored Milford Sound in boats and kayaks, and our ship nosed its way past and into the silver cascading water against a backdrop of majestic snow covered peaks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Josh and Haley were superb leaders. They were very organised and ensured that we knew all we needed to know. They provided supplements to our meals and provided a super spread when they catered for us. They were great at sharing additional information and encouragement to the slower and faster members of the group. When they found that an unknown walker had had a serious fall they ensured that she returned down the mountain safely while continuing to look after our group. When the bus developed a technical fault it was dealt with quickly and efficiently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!!! It is a long way so pace and prepare yourself, but it will repay you many times over. The country is very varied and so is the weather, so go prepared for everything - it was coldest and wettest at sea level and hottest in the mountains.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is a good balance of activities. You should be reasonably fit and prepared for the unexpected. We were delayed for two hours when a giant kauri fell across the road, and there are no alternatives. So we had a great time chatting with everyone including the fire brigade and police. It is that sort of country.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Helen Cock

    Trails of New Zealand

    This was a wonderful walking holiday. We were fortunately blessed with extremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Helicopter flight to the Fox glacier

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent - always keen to please, make excellent meal suggestions and slightly adjust the program to fit the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make the most of this wonderful trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If there was one small suggestion I could make (and believe me, it is small and nit-picky), I would recommend cleaning the bus windows if it has become dusty; this could prevent a photoshoot stop on a few occasions. This idea came from a previous tour I made with a different company.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Eileen Bigg

    Highlights of New Zealand

    An excellent and varied itinerary through stunning scenery. Much travelling thoughtfully balanced by good walks. A good mix of group activities and free time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - hard work and a long day but worth it. The views round Lake Matheson. The waterfalls in Milford Sound. We clocked up a few first experiences: first time in a jet boat (great fun and something we would not have done otherwise), first helicopter flight, first time sailing a catamaran (yes, I took the helm), first time on the Luge ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hayley and Josh were calm, efficient, funny, informed, caring and very committed. They were great. They prepared us well for each day's activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a daysac as well as your 40 litre rucksack, if you can. Pack layers - it can be very hot and very cold. Don't forget sunhat, suncream and insect repellant. Poles can be hired for the Tongariro crossing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip doesn't cover Auckland and Northland up to Cape Reinga, the Coromandel peninsula, the deep south or Kaikoura so you might want to try to fit them in before and/or after the trip. After all, it is a long way to go back again!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Suzanne watt

    Fabulous trip

    A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes. The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some of the hills we walked up....) and just needs to be seen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing into the Red Crater at the top of the Tongarairo Crossing. The photographs just do not do it justice at all. Plus, you then get to run down the scree which is a lot of fun....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna, I know more about NZ wildlife that that in the UK.... He also took us on numerous little walks to break up the long coach trips, many weren't listed on the trip notes but he knew them any way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even in summer, weather is variable. Actually, you are guaranteed rain in Westland... I used my light down jacket more than I thought. You need DEET On the south island, sandflies are evil

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this trip. Consider doing your own add on to go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula while you are there.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Julia Bowman

    A fabulous taster trip of New Zealand...

    This trip encompassed everything I had wanted to experience in New Zealand and more - helped by excellent guiding by experienced Exodus leader Ian and supported by Pete - and perfect weather conditions. If you want to see the highlights of both islands at a reasonable price, then this is the trip for you! Just be prepared for long days on the minibus, which are unavoidable unfortunately.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many good moments that it's difficult to discriminate - but I particularly enjoyed our day jet-boating; our climb up to Mt Cook; the day coastal walking and sailing near Motueka (all in S Island) - and got immense satisfaction from my completion of the 20k Tontoriro Crossing trek in N Island!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian, as our principal leader, was great...we were expertly guided and cajoled by him! He had a light touch (with our mainly 'early-retired' large party of 16) and inspired confidence... Pete - although new to Exodus - was also a very good support leader, most kind and caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all and any weather conditions! Also, to get the best out of this trip, it is probably wise to arrive in a good state of fitness in order to be able to enjoy the many walks and trails on offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am happy to say that this is probably the best Exodus trip that I've travelled on - and I have been on sufficient now to qualify for my 10% discount!!
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Paul Ashcroft

    A great trip

    This was a great trip overall. You get to see a lot of NZ and can do some great walks and other activities. The range of places visited on both islands means that some days there is a lot of traveling but the guides work really hard to break the day up with short walks and stops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the more challenging walks rewarded you with great views and a real feeling of having achieved something. Jet boating and catamaran tip were both great experiences.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides were knowledgeable and prepared you well for the next days activities.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Mark Roberts

    Trails of New Zealand

    The holiday exceeded our expectations and in the main the Trip Notes accurately reflected the details of the holiday (see below). A fantastic holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There really was not only one inspirational moment. The entire holiday was inspirational for different reasons - spectacular scenery; friendly / clean country which appeared to be devoid of litter; interesting culture / history which has been impacted so much by the european settlers; the several planned walks / treks that had been arranged as part of the holiday together with the evening spent on the boat at Milford Sound.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two guides on the Trip - Ian Douglas and Helen Tait. They complemented each other very well with both adding detailed commentary / background of the country that equated to their area of expertise. They were both very patient, encouraging and helpful especially with suggestions for possible activities at approaching destinations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There were some inaccuracies in the Trip Notes that came to light during the trip. 1. Some of the hotels were marked as BH (Basic Hotels) when in fact the 'hotels' (motels) were some of the best hotels at which we stayed during the Trip because of their location and facilities e.g. Queenstown, Wanaka and Mount Cook for example. This incorrect or misunderstood classification may have had the effect of dissuading people interested in the Trip from booking. 2. The details of the holiday on the Web include a picture of one of the activities where travellers could walk on the Fox Glacier. This is in fact not correct as the only way to do this is by paying for a helicopter to land on the Glacier - there was insufficient time available within the day's schedule to take up this opportunity . The day's activity is to walk from the car park to the face of the glacier where conditions allow. Unfortunately with our Trip, as it had been raining heavily, the Park Rangers had cordoned off the path because of the danger of rock falls.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We hope that the above advice is taken into consideration so as not to deter future travellers from booking this trip. The grade assigned to the trip was accurate.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Rosemary LEIPER

    Trails of New Zealand

    Covered the highlights of the whole of New Zealand in a three week marathon trip! Hit all the major spots of the whole country which of course means many long hours of driving (3000 miles!) but worth it. Managed as well to fit in special things for us on free days so best of both worlds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of highlights including jet boat on matukituki, Maori evening with hungi, Mount Cook on a clear crisp day, breakfast at Cherry May's in Wanaka, kayaking at Milford Sound under rain laden clouds and amazing waterfalls, thermal pools at Rotorua in technicolour and of course seeing kiwi's even if in a wildlife sanctuary..... to name a few!!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Helen and Ian complemented one another . Both so enthusiatic and delighted to share their experiances and knowledge of their home country with us all. Nothing too much trouble from cooking us breakfast to sorting out requests for things to do on our free days ..and supporting me at Christchurch Park Run on last day!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to be jetlagged if coming from UK . Accomodation was exellent with laundry facilities so I took far too much! The accomodation was far from basic and in most cases execelent with cooking facilities ( including fridge) in all the Motels which means you can go to supermarket and eat in if you want for a change with nice bottle of New Zealand wine. Price in supermarkets on a par with UK in most cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exceeded our expectations . Walking was not particulary hard to be honest except the Tongariro Crossing and I wore good walking sandles on most walks. Poles not really needed except perhaps for the Tongariro Crossing but not essential. We had good dry weather for all our walks . Watch out for the sandflies on the west coast area...lethal and I was bitten ++++ but a badge of honour I told my husband as I scratched them. Nothing will deter them getting you !!! great holiday ...you will love it!
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Dolores Rice

    Trails of New Zealand

    The Trails of New Zealand tour was, in my opinion, a well planned itinerary as we saw the highlights of this beautiful country, both North and South Island.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention, but I particularly enjoyed the Maouri cultural evening at Rotorua, North Island, watching the cloud lift from the summit of spectacular Mount Cook, South Island and the evening/ night we spent on the boat in Milford Sound admiring the wonderful scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nicole was a very good leader who worked very hard looking after the needs of all the group. She displayed a maturity far beyond her years and made a fantastic Christmas dinner for us! She has a great bubbly personality and her obvious love for her native country is infectious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and see for yourself!
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